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and (inaudible) from mongolia and the honorable barbara (inaudible), honorable consul from the swazi republic. i would also like to recognize the honorable senator mark lenos, honorable eric mar, supervisor, chen ceto of the foundation. >> we also have some guests from the president of san francisco state university, dr. leslie wong, dr. frank hong,ment of santa rosa junior college, and dr. lisa stevens, president of the academy of art university. in the 33 year history of the
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campus, classes have been housed in over 30 different locations. we are very happy and proud to finally have a permanent home and a beautiful modern facility to train the future generations of students. this has been a 40-year journey for the community. some of you have been with us from the start. today we join together the community, the faculty, the students, the staff, the business community and our neighbors and friends to start a new chapter in our history. we'd like to introduce john miso, president of our board of trustees. he has been with us for the last few years helping us with this project. he chairs the information committee that watches over this project, including our higher goals. >> trustee riso
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>> thank you. so how is everybody doing today? i thought so. you know, the opening of a new education facility is always a wonderful experience. a new facility dedicated to serving students as is city college. this particular educational facility, though, has a long history and struggle, a lot of false starts and reboots and now it's here. i've been working on this along with many other people for about 5 years and i just wanted to thank some of the people that i've been working with and i'm not going to mention everyone because there are so many people who have,
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are responsible for this wonderful facility. but the person i want to thank first is our honorable trustee lawrence wong, who this would not have been, we would not be here if it was not for him. i also want to thank someone who i worked very closely with during the construction of this building and that's our, that's our previous chancellor, dr. don griffin, the chancellor who built this facility through many trials and tribulations but he got it done on time and on budget, which is a wonderful, wonderful statement. i also want to thank some of the board members who, the members of the facilities
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committee who every year -- every year, every month -- met and followed the progress of this facility and that's trustee greer, trustee jackson, and our former student trustee, jeffery faipk, who is here in the crowd somewhere. there he is, he's over there. they all spent many, many hours poring over documents and spreadsheets and budget data all to good cause. so, with that, i want to introduce our next speaker, who came on in short notice, probably the quickest hiring of a ceo that this institution has
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ever done. but she's been doing a great job moving us forward and that's interim chancellor dr. pam fisher. >> good evening, and let me add my welcome to all of you. i just can't imagine a happier, more thrilling event. i do feel a bit like a party crasher because so many of you have worked on this for so many years. when i first arrived here the first week of may, people came to me and said how long are you going to be here? oh, great, you are going to be here for the celebration of the chinatown campus. tell me more about that. i've been hearing a lot about it ever since and it's lived up to all the expectations. i do want to say welcome to all of you on behalf of the staff, the faculty, the administrators and all the students at city college. we
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appreciate your support. the city of san francisco made this possible as did the many, many personal individual donors who came to us and did what we needed when we needed it. the most important of it being, of course -- and i am a little biased -- and that is that the community college cause is above all as far as i'm concerned. the movement that we're a part of, making a difference in hundreds of thousands of people's lives, changing the city, changing the state, changing the country, and i might add as i said to the mayor, changing the world, just look around this group, is something of which we can be very proud. we appreciate your support, we thank you for your support and we know this institution and this facility is probably going to outlive just about everybody in this room and that's a nice legacy. i feel thrilled to have been even a tiny part of whatever i could do for city college and
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for you inviting me to join you during this time of challenges. it's my pleasure now to introduce you to someone who needs no introduction. i have been privileged and honored to get to know him over the past few months. he's an ardent supporter of the community college movement in general and city college in particular and the purpose behind city college. please welcome our wonderful mayor. (applause). >> thank you, pamela. good evening, everyone, welcome to the chinatown north beach city college campus (cheering) it
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just feels like it's been a long time, but, you know, it's just on a site that many of us remember. nothing has ever come easy for our community, especially when it was on this block of the international hotel. many of you remember those years and we weren't afraid of struggle. we weren't afraid of making sure that the interests of our communities was well represented and we would fight for every inch to improve it. and so today it's my pleasure to join all of you, to join the trustees, the interim chancellor and all the past chancellors, the past trustees who for many, many years were contributing so much of their fantastic time to making sure this was a wonderful institution for all of us. to our board of supervisors and no less our board president, david chiu and eric,
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scott wiener, maria, who are here on behalf of the board working closely with me as well as our state senators like senator leno, making sure the topic of our education is foremost in our priorities, our minds, our budgets, in our wish for our youth to be successful and all of the people because city college is that very special place. it is not just our youth, it is our veterans. it is people who are trying to struggle to get the new jobs and gain the new skills. it's our immigrant families, people who don't want to also just be the janitors and the restaurant workers and the garment workers. it's the residents of our pinyon towers but it's all over on every economic sprek spectrum and every walk of life
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who believe that an affordable education is within our reach so we can improve our lives and the lives of our families. this is what city college has meant to many of us and why we joined the struggle to make sure that the site that used to be filbert street where i used to go and do educational programs as a young lawyer and teach people about the warranty of hapbtability and keep people struggling to live in their low income units and how to demand more from our government and how to do it without getting evicted, that happened at that site. but guess what? we outgrew it. that's a good story. when you outgrow the old building you know more people value our community college and our city college. so it is my pleasure to make sure that we're here on this opening day but also to make sure you know that we, working to the, not just the mayor, but the mayor working with all the
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elected officials and the board of supervisors join together with the trustees to guarantee city college will be us for many, many generations in the future for all of us. we will work together to make sure that gets done. (applause). and we're not just going to do it in the form of proclamations as this opportunity gives us. we're going it also do it with the way we think. so today it's my pleasure and you know, william, this is really for you and some of the others that believed that we're never going to let city college go, we're never going to abandon our collective responsibilities and make sure it's successful or going to work really hard with our trustees and our interim chancellor and the state to make sure it's successful. that's why i wanted to announce tonight that i will personally be endorsing proposition a, the parcel tax,
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for san francisco to make sure we work together to get the resources necessary to keep our city college successful. and it's in that mind and with the united front that we have with all the elected officials that we congratulate on this opening that we know there is more to it than just the brick and morter here. the most important thing about education is the people. and this is a promise for all of the generations of immigrants to come that we know fill the school ways, that used to be filbert and now here, we know what a great sacrifice it is to be good citizens and successful residents of this city of san francisco. we know why some of you who were former students who graduated here felt so appreciative of the education that we got, that you got, that
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you went all the way back and asked friends in hong kong and in china to help donate money to help build this place. i know that lawrence wong gave up a lot of trips to brazil to make sure that he stood up and got some extra attention for this building because if you look around at some of the things i'm really proud of, we just didn't build the building, we also wanted to design it to make sure that the attributes of our community and our culture was well represented. so some of the nicer things that you see that we will appreciate for years to come were done out of personal sacrifice from people who were a part of this institution both current and in the past. i see henry dear over there. henry, thank you for all your
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wonderful years at caa and education. i know you fought really really hard to make sure that this building got up and that education continued to be at the forefront of everything we do. these are people that i worked with, that i had a chance to really serve the community with, and so on behalf of my office, on behalf of the city and i know our board of supervisors joins with me because they did the same thing just this past week in passing their resolution and proclamation in concert with us to proclaim this, today, to be city college of san francisco chinatown north beach campus day in san francisco. please come up, joan, to accept this.
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let's keep it up. let's give our trustees support, let's make sure we have great dialogue, let's make sure that we don't hide from the tough questions we're about to face in the coming months because we do have some tough questions, but let's look at the promise of city college. let's look at the people we've graduated. let's lack at success we have had as a community, put that in front of us, we're going to work hard, we're going to make sure our city college is successful. thank you very much for this opening and joining all of us. (applause). >> and my role today is then to also, i've said earlier a personal thank you, but to welcome up here your current trustee who has not only personally sacrificed to make sure this building got up but i
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saw him month after month, day after day, with all the different family soerbses talking about the vision we had to get this building built, to get out of filbert, the seismically challenged building that we had for many years and that's trustee lawrence wong come on up. >> wow, isn't it beautiful? isn't it? it's funny because i think i've known mayor ed lee longer than anybody in this room except for my family. and so it's a tremendous honor. i remember ed when -- are you
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leaving, ed? where are you? oh, there you are. when ed got started as an executive director of the human rights commission, remember, i was a san francisco human rights appointed commissioner and i said to myself, my god, this guy is so capable, so competent. but little did i know that after all these years you would become the mayor, the first asian american mayor of the city and county of san francisco. and i don't know whether to offer my congratulations or condolences. i am so proud to consider you as one of my fellow chinese community activists. now, i was thinking today -- thank you, mark leno thank
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you, good friend of mine, one of my dearest friends. you know, i was thinking today, i do everything at the last minute, what am i going to say? so i sat down, you know, i really should put something down because it's a big moment not for myself personally but for all of us. and then a song came on the radio that i'm sure many of you have heard before, it's the impossible dream, right? yes? so i was thinking, oh, the universe is sending me a message here. you know, the cosmos. so i listened to the radio and i remember when the planners of the event said, oh, lawrence, you cannot speak more than 5 minutes. oh, no problem. i lied. how can you thank so many people who have done so much in 5 minutes?
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you know, in 1994, think back before many of you were born, actually, in 1994 i campaigned for the college board and i went to the then-dean, joe an low, and she said it me, lawrence, we will support you, i will support you, but build us a chinatown north beach campus. and actually everywhere i went in the chinese community in chinatown, that was the refrain again and again. they said, we have been asking for this campus for over 20 years, at that time 20 years. it has not been a priority, nobody listens to us, and i am being so naive, i said, sure, i'll build you a chinatown campus if i'm elected. so easy to say yes. little did i know. that was in 1994,
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my friends. and so in 1995 i was sworn into the college board and decided to make it a priority. and i then spoke to the then-chancellor jo anderson and she said, yes, we will make it a priority. then i spoke it my colleagues on the college board at that time and they said, yes, lawrence, we will make it a priority. but we had no money, we had no land, we had nothing. but it was a dream. then came chancellor phil day, had as we all know, is a force of nature. and for 10 years he did make it a priority by raising the funds and making sure we had the political muscle to build this campus.
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and then we had chancellor don griffin who made sure that he oversaw the construction personally and that we were on budget with our facilities committee and don griffin, god bless you, you are here also to see the opening of this campus. so, don, i just talked about you. want to cover all my bases here. i don't want it hear later on. so through all the bond measures, the political opposition, the lawsuits, the countless meetings, i never doubted -- and i have to tell you that i have never -- i need to get off? i have never doubted -- i'm sorry, i have the microphone -- i have never doubted that this campus would be built when nobody believed
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me and i ran in 5 college board campaigns and i said the same thing over and over and over again and they dismissed me, they dismissed the whole idea prrp (speaking chinese) so now we have the money and we have the money to do the bond measures, we have the land thanks to pius lee and now all we needed was the resolve of the college board. let me digress for a moment here. you know, when i was growing up, when i was growing up, my heroes were martin luther king and cesar chavez but i didn't see any community activists, civil rights activists, that looked like me, that looked like many of us. and then in the newspapers i saw two asians and they were speaking always passionately
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about asian american civil rights. well, they were professor ling chee wang and henry durham. and when i was actually quite despairing, i was quite despairing, it was coming down it a crucial vote in 2007 and then 2008 for the college board to support this campus, they came to the fore, they organized the community, the community rose up probably one of the first few times in the history of the chinese community in san francisco, they rose up from the ground and they said, we want this campus, we're fighting for this campus and you better vote for this campus, and guess what, we passed it and we got the campus. so this campus has been built and raised and all of us
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community activists, ling chee wang, all you old-timers, we built it for current generations and generations as yell yet unborn. our forefathers came hear to build the railroads. they came hear to build the railroads but really to build a better life for themselves and their families. they would be so proud. they would be so proud to know that their great-great-great grandchildren built this campus so that our community can continue to have a better future for generations yet unborn. (applause). and, before i get off, before i get off, i really really need to do this. i need to thank my parents. i need to thank --
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and they're sitting right up there -- my 81-year-old mother, helen wong, my 91-year-old father, henry wong, my 92-year-old auntie lily, who is a major been factor, by the way, to this campusment i want to thank them because for 18 years they were wondering why am i not -- why i'm on the college board and not out making more money. typical chinese parents. and they saw the suffering that i went through, that you went through, that we all went through, but this is the result of it. so getting back to that song, the impossible dream, okay, i'm finished. and it came from the universe because it was on the radio today and these were the
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words. for this is our quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far, it fight for the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause, this cause has been fulfilled. this promise has been kept. we did it together. thank god and god bless you all. (applause). >> i'd like to thank senator mark leno, he was always one of our supporters from the start. i also saw a couple guests that have come in since we did the introductions. judge julie
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tang who is also a former member of our board of trustees and i also wanted to acknowledge dave lee, he's sitting up herement dave was our volunteer, he did interviews and resume's and he's been a member of our chinatown north beach advisory committee to the san francisco community college district, it's 40 years from the start. this celebration really is for all of us. i hope you'll understand when i say there is in way that we would be able to thank all of the people over the years who have really supported us. i wanted to thank our designers and structural engineers so this building won't fall down.
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>> thanks to chinatown north beach advisory committee, the friends of education opportunity of chinatown, we shall not be moved coalition, the asian coalition, the chinese christian union, the community partners, voters of san francisco and california, the students, the faculty, the hilton, financial district, chinatown community youth center, ccsf foundation and also the chinatown rotary club who have for the first time have given two scholarships to our students at the chinatown north beach campus. i am sure that we missed, there are so many people that have been supporting the chinatown north beach campus.
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it took a community to build this campus and i'm sure that we missed so many people that we have to thank tonight and if we are standing here, i'm pretty sure you want us to get on with the program. if we miss anyone, our apologies. again, thank you everyone who is here tonight for your support and your continuing support. >> now we're going to move on to the ribbon cutting.